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Hardball With Chris Matthews

News/Business. (2012) (CC)

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Romney 20, Virginia 18, Wisconsin 13, Chris Christie 10, Us 10, Iowa 9, Florida 9, Obama 7, Sandy 6, Pennsylvania 5, America 5, New York 5, Colorado 5, Ohio 5, Tammy Duckworth 5, Biden 4, Washington 4, Joe Walsh 3, Msnbc 3, Fema 3,
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  MSNBC    Hardball With Chris Matthews    News/Business.  (2012)  (CC)  

    November 1, 2012
    4:00 - 4:59pm PDT  

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>> get out and vote. get out and vote. >> thanks for your time tonight. and thanks to all of you for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. under the boardwalk. hurricane obama buries romney. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start with this. the hurricane and this president. hemingway called it grace under pressure, the highly educated call it good government. the american people who count the most call president obama's handling of tropical storm sandy positive. 4 out of 5 give him good marks as first responder in the crisis.
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the question before the election is whether this huge story about disaster and executive response is the last big one before we vote. is it the october surprise? the black swan that swoops out of nowhere and changes everything? as scarlet o'hara said, there's always tomorrow. chuck todd is nbc's political director and john heilemann is "new york magazine's" national affairs editor and an msnbc analyst. i guess that's my question to start, but let me give you this first. the president this afternoon bagged a big endorsement, new york mayor mike bloomberg, who is always interesting to watch. he cited the president's stance on climate change as the major reason. he writes, quote, one believes a woman's right to choose should be protected for future generations. one does not. that difference, given the likelihood of supreme court vacancies, weighs heavily on my
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decision. one recognizes marriage equality as consistent with america's march of freedom. one does not. i want our president to be on the right side of history. one sees climate change as an urgent problem. one does not. i want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics. well said by a savvy mayor of new york. he is so smart. >> the guy is very savvy. >> he waited until now. >> correct. i had somebody use the following phrase with me, he may be the ultimate lagging indicator in that mayor bloomberg is a cautious guy politically. he's always looking out for mayor bloomberg, and there's nothing wrong with that. politicians always look out for their own best interests first. that's the nature of being an ambitious pol, but would he have done this if he thought obama was going to lose? >> that's an indicator of the public. >> that's my question. i don't know. >> by the way, the late brilliant jack jarvis -- somebody once say when that ball comes down on new year's eve, or just at midnight when it starts to come down, that's how he would come down on an issue. you know the decision had been made. here i give him more credit, mike bloomberg, who i happen to like personally. i think he does follow very constructive, middle of the road
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instincts on this thing. my thought. >> he's trying to put himself and he's been trying to position himself for a long time as kind of a centrist arbiter. he set up a super pac to set up centrist politicians and moderate politicians. he cares a lot about this issue in particular, climate change, and the other issues where he is basically a social liberal on questions like abortion and gay marriage. he got a phone call this morning from vice president biden who he likes personally a great deal, personally he likes vice president biden more than he likes president obama, but he had a conversation with vice president biden who asked for an endorsement. this was not an endorsement long in the making. people had been asking questions about the fact that he trashed president obama pretty harshly in "the new york times" and the atlantic -- >> very harshly. >> -- if he was doing something savvy trying to set this up. he hadn't planned to endorse literally until today.
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so how many votes it's going to move in the midwest, that's a dubious question. it helps president obama refute the notion that republicans are making that he can't work across the aisle. >> and all three of us think of it going the other way, what would it have meant? >> that's right. it was the same with the colin powell endorsement. >> let's look at that. excuse me. the president's campaign today released an ad touting colin powell's endorsement. we'll be right back to chuck after his -- let's take a look at what he's talking about. >> will you endorse president obama? >> yes. when he took over, we were in one of the worst recessions we had seen in recent times, close to a depression, and i saw over the next several years stabilization come back in the financial community, housing is starting to pick up. the president saved the auto industry, and the actions he has taken with respect to protecting us from terrorism have been
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very, very solid. and so i think we ought to keep on the track we are on. >> well, he hasn't got mother teresa yet. she's lost to us, but he's gotten the most trusted man in america, his name is bill clinton, right now according to recent polling. he has general colin powell who has long been one of the most trusted people in the country, and probably the savviest pol, the mayor of new york. >> the most important point you were in the middle of making, the endorsements would have -- the nonendorsements would have actually been a bigger deal in some ways, and this doesn't take away from anything and the president is able to use powell. but bloomberg staying on the sidelines, it would have been his way of saying -- i don't think bloomberg would have endorsed romney. getting the endorsement is i think a sign that these guys think, number one, they want to be with winners. both of them are very i think careful guys when they throw their endorsement out there. so i think it says something -- >> what would you rather have, "the des moines register" or
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mayor bloomberg? >> it's not even close. you would want bloomberg. the timing of bloomberg, too. couldn't have come at a better time. >> say question to you, bloomberg or "the des moines register"? >> i would rather have bloomberg. you're talking about bloomberg, powell, and then in some senses the tacit at least visual endorsement of chris christie. chris christie is obviously not endorsing barack obama in any explicit way, but he said a lot of kind things about the president in the last 48 hours. you have a bunch of centrist kind of pseudo republicans, who knows where they are politically, but the cumulative effect i think is powerful. >> is there obama momentum right now, chuck? you score these pretty straight right down the middle. >> it's funny. i call it -- there's sort of the campaign insider's zeitgeist, if you will, and there's this assumption whether you heard haley barbour say it publicly, i talked to strategists on both
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sides, on the republican side worry about it privately and the democratic side hopeful for it. they think there's some sort of bounce for the president on sandy. nobody can point to any metric yet to prove this, but when you think about where things were a week ago, a week ago there was this assumption that, boy, all the intangibles here at the end were going to -- >> let me -- >> -- to romney. now it feels there's intangibles that may favor the president. >> i get the sense that the love of romney by the right and other political players is based on sand in this case. and guys like the governor of new jersey and all the voices out there that haven't come to romney's help this week, they don't love him enough to say, wait a minute, forget this storm, this guy is great. >> i don't know. >> i don't hear a lot of that. >> it's like mark rypien as the redskins quarterback. they loved him when he won the super bowl. >> i think they decided romney is good enough to win the super bowl --
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>> do you think this is a question of not having a lot of strong personal support and love for the guy? i don't hear a lot of people saying, we are still for this guy, we love this guy. >> i think chuck is right. the moment when they rallied around romney was right after the debate in denver. they would prefer romney to win, but there's not a lot of depth to the emotion. in terms of this week, i think it's the most obvious thing in the world. a challenger in a presidential election who has basically suffered a news blackout for the last week of campaigning. mitt romney has no air time. >> because he has no job. >> whether he had -- >> he doesn't have a job. i think people noticed. >> he has no role to play in this. that's not his fault, but it's just the case.
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he's not relevant to what is going on, which means no one is covering him. for five solid days it's been all obama on the air and all storm and no romney whatsoever. it's sucked the oxygen right out of his room. >> it's the first time when he said i'm unemployed like you guys to real unemployed people that it was true. at a rally in green bay, wisconsin, this morning the president spoke movingly about the aftermath of sandy and its destruction on the east coast. let's take a look at the president today in wisconsin. >> we've also been inspired these past few days because when disaster strikes, we see america at its best. >> one country! >> all the petty differences that consume us in normal times all seem to melt away. there are no democrats or republicans during a storm. there are just fellow americans. leaders of different parties working to fix what's broken. neighbors helping neighbors cope with tragedy. communities rallying to rebuild. a spirit that says in the end we're all in this together, that we rise or fall as one nation,
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as one people. >> it's interesting how gray the president's hair has gotten. one of the enduring images may be this image, a president comforting a woman who has lost everything. let's watch. >> how are you? are you okay? oh, no. we're going to help you get it all together, all right? i promise. i promise. you're going to be okay. everybody is safe, right? that's the most important thing, and then we're going to get this whole thing set up, so i got my guy, craig fugate, craig, this is the owner of the marina right here. i want to make sure that she knows that we're going to immediately make sure that she gets the help she needs to get this all back together. all right? >> thank you.
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>> well, there we go. i think that's real. it's not politics. it's just human. let's go to john heilemann. look at the maps. we have some maps, both of them are running like mad, where they're heading. look at this, you can tell a lot about the contest as i implied, look where they're going. look where romney is headed. according to nbc's first read, romney was in florida yesterday and virginia today. he'll also hit wisconsin, ohio, new hampshire, and colorado before the election. the president, this is an interesting map for him, he will be in wisconsin, where he is right now, with nevada, colorado, ohio, iowa, virginia, and florida. of course, they're sending their number one surrogates, the vp nominee, out where they're not going. is this the map, centered in ohio, virginia, and florida, is it still where the action is? >> it is for governor romney for
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sure. it's always been the case that governor romney needs to win florida, needs to win virginia, and pretty much needs to win ohio. even then he still needs to pick up another state somewhere along the way. you can see in his map that he's spending months of his time in florida, virginia, and ohio and a little bit of time in one of those other states that he thinks he might be able to get a pickup, whether that's wisconsin, whether that's colorado. those are the states he thinks he has the best chance. he's not spending time in iowa. he'll spend two different trips -- ending his campaign in new hampshire. he has an event in new hampshire
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over the weekend. he thinks he might be able to pick up there. that tells you a lot. i know a lot of republicans had hoped governor romney wouldn't have to be spending time in florida or virginia at this point. he could be focusing more on ohio and the pickup states. president obama, that map is a little bit misleading. where he's really spending all of his time in the last three days is in wisconsin, in iowa, and in ohio. >> can he win with wisconsin, iowa, virginia, and florida? >> clearly, he will win with all those. he could win without some of those things as long as he holds onto wisconsin and iowa he could lose a bunch of other states. that's his firewall. he's spending a bunch of time in the firewall states like nevada and wisconsin and iowa. that's the way that he holds on even if romney somehow runs the table in florida, virginia, and ohio. if he can hold those other states, he can still win. >> chuck, you go along with that? >> i do. >> we need virginia and florida? >> i have been trying -- the sunday romney schedule had been in the dark. they had set it up. here is the sunday schedule. we just got it. iowa, ohio, pennsylvania, and
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virginia. now -- >> pennsylvania, they got a chance there? yes. is it likely? >> feels like they're looking for more paths and more opportunities. they basically failed to expand the map early. they're hoping maybe hope upon hope that they steal a state late, that somehow they could scramble the whole thing up with pennsylvania. the fact is they're close in pennsylvania, but it's lucy and the football close. >> there's a lot of work to be done by the democrats in southeastern pennsylvania. >> they do have work to do in western pennsylvania. there's a whole bunch of democratic -- your friend mark critz is in big trouble. >> i don't want to start a fight right now. thank you, chuck todd and john heilemann. the president gets a bear hug from mitt romney's keynote speaker. he's quite a bear. he looks like a man in charge. everybody is reminded romney wanted to outsource fema to the states. what a dumb move to have taken given what's happened here. mitt romney's halloween mask. mr. bipartisan. do you believe it? trick-or-treat. i don't think it's going to work with anybody. anyway. or this is just another etch-a-sketch moment? and joe walsh, remember that guy? he may be the one republican member of congress most democrats want to see defeated. let me finish with the metamorphosis of mitt romney from, well, caterpillar to butterfly? that is "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ]e emergency workers everywhere trust duracell...??
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we showed you the averages of the polls from battleground states. let's take a look at some individual numbers. in wisconsin our new nbc news/"wall street journal"/maris poll shows obama with a three-point lead. in new hampshire our poll has the president two points ahead. in iowa our poll has president obama up by six, 50%, 44%. in colorado a new cnn/opinion research poll shows the president leading by two. finally to michigan where a new epic poll shows the president ahead by six, 48%, 42%. we'll be right back. who sent it to cindy, who wondered why her soup wasn't quite the same. the recipe's not the recipe... ohhh. [ female announcer ] ...without swanson. the broth cooks trust most when making soup. mmmm! [ female announcer ] the secret is swanson.
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for the past few days all of us have been focused on one of the worst storms in our lifetimes, and we're awed and humbled by nature's destructive power. i was out in new jersey
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yesterday and saw the devastation, and you really get a sense of, you know, how difficult this is going to be for a lot, a lot of people. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was president obama earlier today. voters are overwhelmingly supportive of his handling of the storm. a "washington post"/abc poll shows 78% give him a positive rating for his efforts these past few days. during his re-election pause, if you call it that, mr. obama reminded americans he has presidential duties and also found a couple unlikely friends along the way, one being new jersey governor chris christie and now tonight a big one, new york mayor michael bloomberg. with both sides back to regular base, what will sandy's lasting effects be, meaning through tuesday? jeff zeleny is a national political correspondent for "the new york times," and howard fineman is the editorial director for "the huffington post" and an msnbc political
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analyst. let's look at new jersey governor chris christie just last night in a press conference where he continued to lavish praise on the president. let's watch. >> the president of the united states and i have now had six conversations since sunday. that shows to me a level of caring and concern and interest that i think a leader should be giving to this type of situation. this was as comfortable and relaxing an interaction as i have had with the president since i've known him, and i think it's because we're both doing what we wanted to do, which is get things done. there will be some folks who will criticize me for complimenting him. well, you know what? i speak the truth. that's what i always do. sometimes you guys like it, sometimes you don't, sometimes politicians like it, sometimes they don't. but i say what i feel and what i believe. and i'm just doing the same thing with the president of the united states. so i do pinch myself every day, you know, like when i got on marine one, i'm pinching myself, believe me.
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sandy and bill christie's son on marine one was not exactly what i thought was going to be happening with my life. >> i kind of like that. on another side of the planet, here is rush limbaugh going after chris christie's kind words for the president. let's listen to the walrus under water. listen to him right now. here is rush limbaugh. >> new jersey governor chris christie has decided to play the role of a greek column today for president obama. obama and chris christie will tour the jersey shore. chris christie is the only republican -- i mean not just praising obama. i mean it's -- it's -- let's just put it this way. is it wrong for one man to love another man? but that man love out there, it's isolated to the state of new jersey. well, just tell you what i have observed casually with my busy broadcast eyes and my cochlear implant-aided ears.
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>> he reminds me more of the guy from "deliverance," squeal like a pig. without getting too much of the movie references, it just seems like he's squealing like a pig essentially here. he knows he lost the day, and he just wants to complain about it, this bromance, suggestions of gay behaviors. it's absurd and high school. >> rush is the kind of air raid siren for the republicans. when he's screaming like that, you know something has happened. if you add up all the factors, the fact the president gets to be presidential. if you add up the fact he gets to talk about bipartisanship and communal activity -- >> government being good. >> government being government, government being good, not to mention the fact that it also -- a lot of states have had to rearrange events for the campaign. it stresses who has the more nimble campaign. out in virginia where they rescheduled a big event for obama for saturday in virginia, that obama has a more nimble campaign and has been able to
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adapt to the situation in these states. >> jeff, it's great to have you on, i read you all the time. you know, in politics like in life, there's rain and there's sunshine. and, you know, these guys act like there shouldn't be rain. i just like the sunshine. we don't live on that planet. we live on a planet where you get breaks, you don't get breaks. but there's limbaugh -- forget limbaugh, let's talk about reality. you get the breaks. something happens where you can use your best stuff. i think the president has had that opportunity now. >> and i think -- i think howard is right, he has been able to, you know, become more -- he looks more like a president now. gosh, for several weeks, maybe for several months, he's looked like a democratic candidate for president rather than a sitting president. so i think we're sort of seeing him in a presidential moment. he's finally sort of filling out this -- the air force one jacket he had on and kind of like he did in the early days of his term, but i think the real question is, is this all going to matter? a lot of those people who have
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made up their minds, the voters i talked to in ohio and wisconsin and iowa and elsewhere, are not going to suddenly go from romney to obama, but i think among the sliver of people who, you know, probably voted for obama four years ago and are not sure now, i think this could help. >> how many do you think there are? >> standing next to chris christie helps. >> -- in cincinnati or waukesha, wisconsin -- >> it helps with the media though. it helps with our point of view. let me ask you, everybody goes by the polls and they tend to be 47/47 which means six people haven't made up their mind. i'm asking you as a pro. aren't there a lot of people who are more like the group you described, voted for obama once, worried about him this time, may go with the other guy if he has a good night. can they come back from the first debate saying i'm back where i was? how many of them are there potentially? >> i think there are some out there. but the question is how many of them have early voted? the proliferation of early voting, there were some voting after the first debate, between the second and third debate. i think there are some of those who are not sure and have been
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looking for a sign. if you haven't voted sort of right away, i think there are some people who are holding up until this final week here, but people are locked in. people are dug in, and it's about enthusiasm. i think this probably helps people's enthusiasm for president obama. >> nobody is watching this show or any other show on this kind of a program, political shows, that isn't voting. i can't imagine watching us every night and not voting. >> i can tell you from being out in virginia today out beyond the limits of the washington metropolitan area, right on the periphery, i think the president is making a bet that there are still such people in virginia. first of all, they're extending -- >> how would you describe them? >> i would describe them as the weakest possible of democrats. they aren't really democrats, and they're out there -- >> harry byrd democrats. >> they're out there, weakest possible democrats. they've extended the hours of early voting in virginia because of the storm having come through. >> and you also -- >> the news is the president is
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going to have a big rally in virginia, in bristol, virginia, on the edge of the metropolitan area near manassas on saturday with bill clinton and with dave matthews, the dave matthews band. >> they call it manassas, we call it bull run. >> the idea is to excite the troops, to reward the people who knock on doors with close-in passes to the event. they see a possibility of going beyond the firewall and winning virginia again. >> a state they don't necessarily -- >> they don't necessarily need but if they can get, they can have an easier election night. >> one of the honors of this job is having you guys on with me. thank you so much. i love having you guys on. i learn something -- jeff, i don't know how you do it on the front page of "the times." i sat on buses with you people, and i don't know how you do it. these stories are fantastic. thank you so much. jeff zeleny and howard fineman. up next, iowa congressman steve king is at it again. what's his biggest fear when it comes to disaster relief money?
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back to "hardball." now the "sideshow." when hurricane sandy hit earlier, mitt romney's campaign shifted the focus of one of his ohio events from a victory rally to a, quote, storm relief event. steve colbert weighed in. >> out of sensitivity, less than one week from election day mitt romney has been forced to suspend his campaign. that's why he's scrapped his victory rally in kettering, ohio, and instead appeared at a completely different, the same, spot with the same people and called it a storm relief rally. which is so comforting for all those living on ohio's hard-hit
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atlantic coast. mitt romney understands that disaster relief belongs only on the state level. >> every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction. >> who better to respond to what's going on inside its own borders than the state whose infrastructure has just been swept out to sea? >> as we talked about earlier, it's the romney etch-a-sketch fema edition. next, iowa congressman steve king. there's a piece of work. seems to be on a never ending campaign to outdo his own history of crazy comments. from the republican congressman who thinks president obama's birth certificate may have been telegramed to him from kenya, we have comments on federal aid for victims of sandy. here is what he said.
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i want to get them the resources that are necessary to lift them out of this, but not one big shot to just open up the checkbook because following hurricane katrina they spent it on gucci bags and massage parlors and everything you can think of in addition to what was necessary. shopping is the key concern for the literally millions of people affected by the storm. what could be worse for states like new jersey than the congressional vote on how fema should spend its money? king was one of 11 members to vote against providing additional disaster relief to the victims of hurricane katrina back in 2005. on a more positive note, chris christie's wish comes true. it's no secret he's a fan of bruce springsteen. over the years springsteen has not returned the love until last night. he reached out to the victims of hurricane sandy and then some. listen to this. we're a band that can't separate from the jersey shore. we'll send this out to all the people working down there, the police officers, the firemen, and also to the governor who has done such a hard job this past
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week. well, there you have it. the romance, the bromance, isn't as one-sided anymore. also, what part of the presidential election got this 4-year-old colorado resident all choked up? spoiler alert here. all of it. abigail, that's her name, was riding along with her mom to buy groceries with npr playing on the radio. here is her answer for why the tears are flowing. >> because of barack obama and mitt romney. >> that's why you're crying? it will be over soon, abby. the election will be over soon, okay? >> okay. >> oh. >> well, anyway, npr caught wind of her breakdown of mitt romney and barack obama and issued a statement reassuring her she only had to tough it out a few more days. another sign the final days
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of the election are on us, check out this snapshot of dueling lawn signs. the one on the left is a clear sign of support for the republican ticket. the one on the right reads husband's sign, not wife and son's. i love that. up next, mitt romney says he'll work with democrats across the aisle if he's elected as president, but his record says something quite different. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. not in this economy. we also have zero free time, and my dad moving in. so we went to fidelity. we looked at our family's goals and some ways to help us get there. they helped me fix my economy, the one in my house. now they're managing my investments for me. and with fidelity, getting back on track was easier than i thought. call or come in today to take control of your personal economy. get one-on-one help from america's retirement leader. it's so great to see you. you, too! oh, cloudy glasses. you didn't have to come over!
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here's what's happening. across the northeast, gasoline is in short supply. long line and closures are the norm in many places. analysts say flooding has disrupted the shipment. and the final day of the
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presidential brace and spending by the campaigns is approaching $1 billion according to nbc news. 958 million has been spent so far. now back to "hardball." i fought against long odds in a deep blue state, but i was a severely conservative republican governor. >> strange wording, severely conservative. he's the only one ever to use it. that was mitt back in february trying to convince the hard right audience that doubted his conservative credentials that even though he had been governor of the state of massachusetts, make no mistake, he was severely conservative. fast forward about seven months and now mitt romney is out there using his experience as massachusetts governor to convince voters he's actually bipartisan. he's a man of the middle. take a look at this ad. brand new mitt here.
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>> republicans and democrats both love america, but we need to have leadership, leadership in washington that will actually bring people together and get the job done and could not care less if it's a republican or a democrat. i've done it before, i'll do it again. >> well, the problem is the bipartisanship he touts didn't exactly happen in massachusetts according to a "new york times" report when he was governor up there. it describes it this way. bipartisanship was in short supply up there. state house democrats complained that romney variously ignored, insulted, or opposed them with intermittent offenses. he vetoed scores of initiatives and excised budget line items 844 times. this was by factcheck.org. lawmakers reciprocated by overriding the vast bulk of them. my problem with reading the teleprompter.
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eugene robinson is an msnbc analyst, and shannon o'brien is former massachusetts state treasurer who ran against romney for governor in 2002. shannon, thank you for coming on. i never met you, but i call you shannon. tell us what you know coming into this campaign about mitt as he got along with democrats in your state. >> he really didn't get along with democrats in the state. he certainly wasn't bipartisan. i think that the republican minority leader described it best. when mitt romney came in as governor, he was actually a ceo. he was used to just kind of telling people what to do and expecting them to listen to him. that didn't sit well with the democratically controlled legislature. they thought they were an equal branch of government. he had 800 budgetary or line-item vetoes or legislative vetoes, most of which were overridden by the legislature.
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sometimes unanimously. >> what about this elevator? why did he have his own self-created, self-restricted elevator in the state house no one else could use? tell me about that. >> there's an elevator that sits next to the door of the governor's office, and it's always been open to the public except when mitt romney was governor. he put up a rope, said you can't come into this elevator, and he was the only one and his immediate staff that could go up and down. the legislators believed he was afraid he might get stuck on an elevator with an aggressive legislator who might try to ask him to work with them on a particular piece of legislation. >> i heard he didn't even know the names of the lawmakers in massachusetts who were democrats. he saw them and didn't know who they were. >> he didn't make much of an effort to know them. he once or twice even got the name of his own lieutenant governor's name wrong. he called kerry healey, sherry healey.
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>> gene robinson has watched politicians over the years. he seems like a stiff. a guy who doesn't hang out with the boys. >> he's not a hang out kind of guy. one thing you need, one prerequisite is that each has to know where the other stands. tip knew what reagan believed. reagan knew what tip believed, and then they could wheel and deal. i don't think that could be present with mitt romney. you don't know exactly what his core beliefs are. they seem to be so fungible and so malleable. >> are you really negotiating with a guy who has to negotiate with his people all the time? does he have to go back to his constituents, grover norquist, can't touch revenues, the neocons, the religion right. does he have to check back because he doesn't have a
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personal core? >> right. and so, you know, if they won't buy it in brown, let's make it in blue. that sort of business mindset i think he brings to everything he does. and so, you know, they wanted severely conservative rhetoric during the primary, so he gave it to them. now he thinks they want different rhetoric. >> campaigning in ohio vice president biden pointed out as romney plays up his bipartisanship, he may find his biggest headaches come from his own party. as i was suggesting. let's listen. >> ask them the question, when have you ever seen governor romney take on the establishment of his party? what do you think prospects are that governor romney would attempt to do any of the things he now says he supports? what do you think the chances of him doing that with the republican-controlled congress? what do you think the chances are he's going to tell the people, you know, you're dead wrong. that's basically what he's saying now.
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>> grover norquist is the no tax guy, made clear that the right wing of the party expects to call the shots. this is brazen, but let's listen to what was said and romney never opposed what he heard here. >> focus on electing the most conservative republican who can win in each house seat, and the most conservative republican who can win in each senate seat, and then pick a republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the united states. >> now, he's backing romney. romney signed the pledge for this guy. doesn't he ever call him out and say, you just made a fool out of me? you said i'm just going to be a robot. he never complains. >> no, he hasn't complained. >> he wanted norquist to believe he was going to be the guy with the pen. >> exactly. so you guys just pass it and i will sign it. now, would there come a point when mitt romney would actually challenge the right wing -- the far right wing of the party? there has not been a moment like that, not even remotely in this campaign.
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if you can remember one -- >> shannon, let's be open-minded. could it be mitt romney has become a real conservative. all these months -- he went to the right on immigration, on taxes, on every issue i think, even the hawkish issues. it seems he decided to go into this campaign and never be outhawked again or outrighted again. is he that guy he painted himself as being this last year or so? >> it's a question that just can't be answered. the fact is this guy has no core. this guy will say whatever he needs to say to meet whatever is -- >> would you say that to his face? >> i would say -- never mind what i would say to his face. the fact is 32 points, mitt romney right now according to a suffolk university poll is losing the state where he made lots of promises but governed in a very erratic fashion. he didn't keep his promises to the people of massachusetts. the people of massachusetts at this point in time it looks like he is losing by 32 points to barack obama. that is incredible. this is a guy who ran, who made promises, and did not keep
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promises in office. i can't answer that question, and i think that the people of massachusetts can answer the question. this is a guy who has no core, that they won't support for president, and they wish they probably had their vote back for governor perhaps, too. >> by the way, a real dealmaker which is scott brown is close in the race to elizabeth warren. they think he is a dealmaker. that's the difference. thank you, gene robinson, thank you, shannon o'brien. up next, democrats would love to see republican congressman -- he's one of the worst -- go down to defeat. we'll talk to the candidate who is trying to make that happen, tammy duckworth. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] wouldn't it be cool if you could combine the capability of a pathfinder with the comfort of a sedan and create a next-gen s.u.v. with best-in-class fuel economy of 26 miles per gallon, highway, and best-in-class passenger roominess? yeah, that would be cool. introducing the all-new nissan pathfinder. it's our most innovative pathfinder ever. nissan. innovation that excites.
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wow. we're back. the dirty angry money pouring into republican congressman joe walsh's race against tammy duckworth is soaring in the call pain's final week. walsh famously accused president obama of lying about the effects of not raising the debt ceiling back in 2011. let's watch that. >> president obama, quit lying. you know darn well that if august 2nd comes and goes there's plenty of money to pay off our debt and cover all of our social security obligations. have you no shame, sir? in three short years, you've brup bankrupted this country and destroyed job creation. you're either in over your head, you don't understand what makes this country great, or you're hellbent in turning us into some european big government wasteland. >> well, whatever you think of
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that, "chicago tribune"/wgn poll last week shows tammy duckworth leading that person by ten points now and a ppp poll the same week showed a 14-point lead for duckworth, his challenger. and yet the conservative superpac freedom work is pouring another $1.7 million into the race and the pro-tea party now or never superpac is spending another $1 million. with me, the democratic candidate for the illinois' eighth district, tammy duckworth. colonel duckworth, it's an honor to have you on. thank you for your service to our country. why are they pounding your race with this dirty, angry money? >> they know they can buy him. they have a history of him voting exactly the way they want. we wondered why he was the only one to vote against the transportation bill, a bill that brings thousands of jobs into the district and $300 million specifically to our district until we realized that now or
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never it's funded by a group that is anti the transportation bill. that's why they're coming in. they want to buy this election. >> are they working with your opponent? >> well, you know, it's one of these things where it's -- you know how superpacs are, chris. >> it's supposed to be illegal. i know you're not supposed to do it. all this money come in, is it being coordinated, you tell me, is it part of the campaign by the incumbent? >> boy, it sure seems that way. look at what mr. walsh has on his bio on his web page. he says he founded americans for limited government who wrote two checks each for $1 million to now or never, and that's whose funding these negative ads against me. so you just have to connect the dots. on our side, we're funded by an average contribution of $50. it's $20, $30, $50 fighting against big million dollar checks. >> we talk a lot about women's issues on this show because half our viewers are women. let's look at a tape of joe walsh, opponent, the incumbent, among the strange things he said.
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let's hear what he said back in october, october 19th, actually, about abortion. >> this is an issue that opponents of life throw out there to make us look unreasonable. there's no such exception as life of the mother. and as far as health of the mother, same thing. with advances in science and technology, there's -- health of the mother has been -- has become a tool for abortions for any time under any reason. >> so there's a pretty strong argument that there's no one's ever died in childbirth, i know what the science is exactly. what to you make of it with these claims now this shouldn't be an exception for life or health of the mother which we know most people honor those exceptions. >> they're simply not true. i thing he's been going to the todd akin school of biology. 1 in 40 pregnancies apregnancie
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plea a clampsia. there are a number of reasons. but the point is this is not what this district is. this is a moderate district of hardworking people, and they believe that women, you know, should be trusted to make decisions about their own bodies. and congressman walsh simply doesn't. >> tammy duckworth, thank you so much for coming on "hardball." good luck next week. when we return, let me finish with a word of warning about mitt romney's transformation in the last couple days, you know, to moderate. add up to 100 calories? your world. ♪ [ whispers ] real bacon... creamy cheese... 100 calories... [ chef ] ma'am [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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let me finish tonight with this. it's called dressing for success. there are people who to this for a living, tell you how to show up, when it's important how you show up. remember the old line clothes make the ran. >> it's under that rule mitt romney the severely conservative candidate transformed himself to moderate independent. in a metaphor fis, mitt romney fixed his wings for the final days of the campaign. forget the limboing he did to win the nomination of the right party. meet the pliable, flyable tt